asteya - non stealing

Wishing everyone a week ahead being true to yourself.

Asteya, the 3rd yama translates to non-stealing.

Asteya isn’t just about stealing material items, it has many applications for how we can rob ourselves and others.

Considering this yama through the lens that the desire to steal comes from a feeling that we don’t have enough or we’re missing something. And through this perspective Asteya teaches us that there is enough and we are enough; to not want for what others have but to appreciate and acknowledge everything we need is within us. And to accept our imperfections; they make us unique and who we are.

With this in mind, we learn that when we try to be someone we aren’t or hide parts of ourselves for fear of embarrassment or rejection, or if we put up with the status quo for fear of failing, this is when we rob ourselves of living our true, authentic life. And if we continue to rob ourselves of being true to ourselves, that’s what leads to regrets.

Another way we can unknowingly and subtly steal, from others, is by something as simple as being late – whether it’s a coffee catch up, a work meeting or even a yoga class. When we’re late we are essentially robbing the other person of their time as they wait for us, or possibly disrupting the flow of the meeting or class, taking away focus and even peace from those present. And this behaviour may even be sending the subconscious message that ‘my time is more valuable or important than yours’.

Self enquiry this week – Is there a part of me I’m hiding or not embracing due to a fear of being criticised or rejected? Am I robbing myself of living my life by holding back in some way.

Resolving this week to acknowledge all the good in yourself and your life, knowing all that you are and all that you have is enough.

And here are some more ways to practice Asteya from this Yoga International article. Enjoy!